News review of the day – June 16th

Parliament adopts bill introducing special allowances for retired MPs

Romanian MPs have approved today with 303 votes in favor, 24 against and 2 abstentions the draft bill introducing special allowances for retired senators and deputies. During the debates, Social Democrats have endorsed the bill showing that MPs are not allowed to have other activities, therefore no other incomes due to incompatibility regulations. They added the allowance formula is also common in other EU member states. The Liberals, however, criticized the draft bill and pointed out that MPs should not benefit from a privileged pension scheme. Liberal leader Ludovic Orban said the citizens’ trust in Parliament will decrease once this bill is adopted. The document stipulates a monthly allowance of 1.500 Ron for MPs with one mandate and 4.000 Ron for those who served in three mandates.

President Iohannis and his Croatian counterpart Grabar-Kitarovic about corruption tackling and Schengen accession

President Klaus Iohannis met his Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in Zagreb yesterday. In a joint press conference after the talks, the two officials were addressed a question regarding the way corruption tackling influences the Schengen accession process in the two countries. The head of the Romanian state answered that our country is facing an intense stage right now but progress in this regard will hopefully have a positive influence on the Schengen accession. The Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic replied she has always manifested zero tolerance against corruption and added that her country is still experiencing early stages of this process.

PM Victor Ponta underwent knee surgery in Turkey

Prime Minister Victor Ponta has confirmed today that he underwent knee surgery in Turkey. In a Facebook post, he declared the surgery proved much more complicated than he had expected, but he is hopeful to be able to exercise again by December. The chief of the Cabinet underlined that he trusts Romanian doctors but he chose to have the intervention abroad in order to enjoy some quiet moments and get rest. PM Victor Ponta suffered an accident during a basketball game two weeks ago. Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea has taken over the PM’s duties for four days.

RADOR News Agency celebrates 94 years since initial establishment

On June 16th 1921, the first telegraphic news agency in Romania, RADOR (Orient Radio) was set up in Bucharest as a private business. Consequently, the Romanian state, through the Foreign Ministry at the time bought all the agency’s shares and turned it into Romania’s official news agency. In 1949, RADOR was facing closure by the Communist regime and its structure was taken over by AGERPRES. The new RADOR agency operating today was born in 1990 as part of the Romanian Broadcasting Coroporation. Currently, the department is the main press monitoring center in the country, its grid including more than 50 radio and TV news stations, 400 international newspapers and 60.000 websites.

Public radio’s military program marked its 75th anniversary

The military radio program which premiered on June 16th 1940 and never stopped broadcasting ever since was celebrated today in a special ceremony hosted at Radio Romania’s headquarters in Bucharest in the presence of army representatives and officials, public radio’s managers, numerous journalists and guests. On the occasion, the public radio’s President-General Manager Ovidiu Miculescu was conveyed the General Staff’s Emblem of Honor which is the Romanian Army’s highest distinction, offered for a 75-year successful partnership.
The military radio program called, in time, „The Serviceman Hour”,”The Army Hour”, „The Army Journal” or „Military Journal” has continuously militated for the army’s change-over and has correctly informed citizens and servicemen about security and national defense developments. The radio program has also led an active pro-NATO campaign before Romania’s accession to the Alliance in 2004. Moreover, Radio Romania’s correspondents have been reporting from theatres of operations in Bosnia and Hertzegovina, Afghanistan and Iraq reflecting Romanian soldiers’ professionalism and sacrifice.
The ceremony today was accompanied by live music played by the renowned military orchestra of the Defense Ministry and guests were in the end invited to help themselves with cauldron-cooked beans, a typical dish served in military mess halls.

The Romanian currency depreciated slightly against the Euro

The Romanian currency has slightly depreciated today against the euro reaching a 4.48 quotation, according to the Central Bank. The last considerable depreciation was announced on January 23rd. The US Dollar had a 3.99 Ron quotation, the British Pound 6.21 Ron and the Swiss Franc remained at 4.28 Ron.

City of Cluj-Napoca hosting the largest public debate regarding future of the community

The city of Cluj-Napoca is hosting tonight, starting 7 PM, the largest public debate in its history. 1.000 young people are expected to attend the event which focuses on the future of the community. Debating groups are going to approach different matters concerning the subject, Radio Romania’s lcoal correspondent reports.

Bianca Ioniţă